Marie Antoinette pearls unseen for 200 years to be auctioned

A natural pearl and diamond necklace that once belonged to Marie Antoinette (AP)

A set of natural pearls that once belonged to French queen Marie Antoinette, and have not been seen in public for two centuries, are to go under the hammer in Switzerland.

The sale of Royal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma family is set to take place at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 12.

Sotheby’s said Marie Antoinette, who was guillotined during the French Revolution, was often portrayed wearing pearls, which the auction house said were as prized as diamonds in the late 18th century.

Announcing the sale, the auction house said the pearls have not been seen in public for 200 years.

" srcset= Credit: " srcset=

The collection includes one piece with a diamond pendant and natural pearl which is estimated to fetch up to £1.5 million on its own.

Sotheby’s international specialist Daniela Mascetti said each jewel is “absolutely imbued with history”.